Friday 12 November 2021

Compliance is spiritual Dane-Geld


It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
To call upon a neighbour and to say:
"We invaded you last night - we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say:
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray,
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say:

"We never pay any one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost,
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!"

Rudyard Kipling - 1911


The mainstream political Right (conservative, republican, libertarian etc.) spends far too much time and effort (in practice, all of its time and effort) on discussing and pursuing tactics - in seeking the best battle-ground, in preparing 'a hill to die on', in taking one step back in hopes of sometime later taking two steps forward.

...Short-term tactics justifiable only by long-term strategy. Dane-geld is advocated on the basis that it wins a space of relief during which there can be re-grouping and re-arming, and preparation for the big battle later.

Yet, somehow the hill-to-die-on types never quite get-round to completing their strategy: the time for for retreat is always now, the time for battle is never quite right.

The enemy is paid-off, sure; but the hoped-for re-building (supposed to happen during the negotiated peace) somehow doesn't happen...

Too much Dane-geld, too often. And in the end nothing but Dane-geld.

The trouble is that paying Dane-geld is not just losing ground, Dane-geld is a transfer: it weakens the payer and strengthens the receiver. Dane-geld is counter-productive, by adversely shifting the balance of power.

A Transfer. What You give, They receive. 

You will immediately be weakened by paying Dane-geld, and you will strengthen the enemy immediately.

And the enemy will soon be back - after all, why not? The enemy is actively motivated to do so; returning again and again, to take a bit more more and a bit more

But then you will be weaker, will not have had sufficient time to rebuild to where you were before the Dane-geld - never mind prepare extra defences: then you will need to pay more Dane-geld just to gain a bit more time...

It is only ever wise to pay Dane-geld when the brief space thus made is decisive, and will be used to build-up strength, and with the firm intention to seek a major and decisive battle in what is known to be a more favourable situation.

Yet delaying the confrontation until after Dane-geld has been paid will (even in this best case) involve greater sacrifice, since ground has by then been yielded - and this yielded territory was ground that the enemy chose and wants to occupy - so presumably it was valuable ground.

Surveying the mainstream Right I see nothing but Dane-geld payment all round. I see an obsession with tactics, with picking exactly the right fight (not too big, not too small), fighting exactly the correct threat (focusing energy) on exactly the right ground. 

I see tactical retreats, pragmatic compromises, tactical pacts, tactical pay-offs - horse-trading.

All based on detailed daily analysis of the political news and personalities, trends, data, logic, modelling - calculation, prediction - seeking the perfect, precise, incisive scalpel-like intervention which will win the war easily, with the minimum of pain and sacrifice.

All based, in other words, on immersion in the world of the enemy.

Worse: paying the Dane-geld both weakens physically (one has retreated, been damagedand spiritually (one has agreed to retreat) - and the spiritual effect is the more harmful - because it saps the will to resist while encouraging the enemy. 

Attention is often given to the encroachments of the enemy in this spiritual war. But the other side of this coin is compliance: the spiritual act of Dane-geld. They ask, we give. Here there is an active intent of yielding to that which is unjust, greedy, evil, an act of compliance

This, of itself, would be spiritually harmful enough; but after all - we all sin, all the time; so why focus on this specific sin?

What compounds this particular evil many-fold is the denial that compliance to the requests of evil was indeed evil; therefore there is no repentance but its opposite: doubling-down on sin. 

Unrepented compliance to the global totalitarian agenda is a positive act to promote that agenda: it is taking the side of Satan. 

Each compliance unrepented, strengthens evil even as it weakens the cause of good: and that is the case whether for each obscure individual person such as you and me; for influential or powerful people; for all mega-corporations, and institutions - and of course 'Christian' churches and their leaders.

This is not a difficult discernment! 

And it is a discernment we each of us absolutely need to make. 

Note: The above is substantially adapted from a post of 2011


Avro G said...

"Unrepented compliance to the global totalitarian agenda is a positive act to promote that agenda: it is taking the side of Satan."

I quibble with your use of the word "unrepented." Isn't all compliance with the antichrist junta, whether repented or not, a form of dane-geld and therefore a "positive act to promote [their] agenda"?

Our example is in Daniel 3:17-18:

"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."

No repentance needed. All the same, I'm thankful I can repent.

Bruce Charlton said...

@AG - I am making a distinction between the worldly act of compliance, and the spiritual. The worldly act cannot be repented - what's done is done; but the spiritual can.

AnteB said...

There is a short video of Jordan Peterson complaining about why "he won´t be left alone" despite taking the peck. As someone who supposedly have studied totalitarian regimes he is not very insightful about how such societies operate. Though it might be more a question of honesty than insight.

Bruce Charlton said...

@AB - A couple of years ago I did a few posts about JP:

Herzog said...

Kipling, despite all the denunciations, has withstood the test of time. Some of his poems are truly timeless classics (despite their occasional weaknesses in meter :) ) whose full depth and wisdom remain to be fathomed and appreciated, by coming generations. In addition to the Danegeld, "If," "The Female of the Species," and, obviously, "The White Man's Burden" come to mind.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Herzog - My edition of Kipling selected poems is edited by TS Eliot - so I presume he must have reasonable status. Orwell described Kipling, in an interesting essay, reviewing this volume, as a 'good bad' poet - and he went on to define 'good bad' more generally.

Myself, I much like (and re-read) several of Kipling's pieces, but if I am strict I would call them 'verse' by contrast with 'poetry'.

I 'know' the difference for myself, but find it hard to explain beyond that poetry has that 'lyrical' quality (distinct from prose) which we may recognise when we encounter it. I don't think any English language 'poets' since the 1980s (who I have encountered) are actually poets, by my definition - English poetry is now extinct (so far as I know).

We still have verse, however.

Howard Sutherland said...

Don’t forget The Gods of the Copy-book Headings! Might have been written for this time.

GLD said...

To continue the analogy, how would you differentiate between paying dane-geld versus being driven from the field of battle?

Bruce Charlton said...

@GLD - Strange question, I don't see the problem in differentiating between two such different things.